Pay to Play

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby brawlizard » Wed Feb 08, 2017 9:49 am

I guess it depends on what one means by "demise". There was the final demise when NCSoft chose to shut it all down despite the fact that it was making money for them (it simply wasn't making enough money for them). But long before that the game was in the throes of a different kind of demise: the demise of its soul, formed originally by the mindset and character of its core player base in its early years.

The F2P initiative helped the game's financial solvency, yes, but it also eroded its most appealing feature: the ability to find like-minded, mature fans of the superhero genre to team up with. With F2P came a horde of players who only wanted to scratch their fantasy or anime itch and tried to turn CoX into WoW or Lineage transported to the modern world. Paragon City looked like a very different world to me after F2P. The CoX I knew died long before NCSoft pulled the plug on it.
And I made many new friends that played the game perfectly fine and were perfectly excellent players after the F2P conversion. Your argument doesn't really factor into if F2P is a good business model or not, since both lineage and wow are sub only. You may be suffering from a bit of elitism or nostalgia tinted remembrance.

I too miss the friends I had in early game, miss the newness of the game that was, but also understand that to be viable long term a wide and varied gamer base is a good idea. This reduces the impact of competition for audience/memberships.

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby GladDog » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:00 pm

I have several arguments why the game should start as a sub.

1 - The game is aimed at CoH vets. They don't mind pay to play.

2 - The game will have been in open access for a while before they start charging. The players will already know if it is worth playing, and will pay if it is.

3 - As a new game by a new studio, subs guarantee income that they will need to get the game finalized the way they want it. F2P may or may not do so.

4 - Cash shops require a lot of thought and care to make them worthwhile without making the game pay to win, and a cash shop is required for F2P. If they want to include a cash shop, it should not be forced while they are still developing the game, as it will be lame or god-like.

The big thing is guaranteed income out of the gate. Once the game has had some time to mature, and they have a solid, positive cash flow, then they can consider adding F2P to the mix. I have no problem with F2P, but it would be a bad thing for a small studio that needs immediate positive cashflow to start like that. Yeah, I know that CoT is going buy the box, and hybrid sub/F2P, and that is great, as long as they can solve the problems I listed above.

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby brawlizard » Wed Feb 08, 2017 1:19 pm

The big thing is guaranteed income out of the gate.
I can definitely agree on all of that :)

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Malice Johansson » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:46 pm

I agree that P2P is probably best for the health of the community and company. I am authorized to say this due to my utter lack of MMO business-savvy. I know all the things.


Seriously though, I have no problems paying a monthly sub for a game I love or that I play with friends.

That said, a lot of them are VERY casual and won't pay a sub for most games, which means I won't be playing with them, I'll be playing with all of you. This isn't a problem, just an observation.

Additionally, there was a period where I was unemployed and others where I was very strapped for various reasons. CoX being F2P was amazing at the time. Then when I was back on my feet, I played free for a while, actually spending more than the sub on costumes until I hit 50 (it took me YEARS to get there because of how I played - even playing from the head start). Even then for a while I played free, buying my toys and due to the oddities of the model they used, I felt pretty good about it.

It was only when I found friends at L50 that I wanted everything the sub gave me and re-subbed.

I suppose the point of that is that the F2P model actually helped me get back into the game when I had nothing to give. That means I can see the value of it over and above just an introductory tier. It also brought some other friends back, though I can't honestly say if they ever paid anything. Probably not. They're pretty cheap.

Anyway, I'm torn but I am happy to pay up to keep the lights on and the community healthy. :D

edit: Oh, one more thought: CoX shutting down after all that makes me a lot more hesitant to spend money on digital items other than a sub these days, in any game. You never know when someone will assassinate that game.

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Banished Archangel » Wed Feb 08, 2017 8:40 pm

I'm all for paying a monthly subscription with cosmetic micro-transactions.

I'm opposed to F2P as I believe it brings out the worse in people, or rather, the worst people, and it diminishes the quality of the player base as well as the overall gaming experience.

I like the idea of tokens earned by subscribers where if they subbed for 6 or 12 months, they get a token that allows for one month of free subscription, redeemable by the subscriber him/herself or able to gift it to a fellow subscriber, who may or may not be in need, or just to a non-subscriber, allowing them to play the game for free for 30 days. I think this would help cover those concerns about the times where a sub might fall into unexpected financial distress

I also think when SoH goes live, they should just automatically give every subscriber a celebratory token, in the hopes that they'll share it with their friends, which presents an opportunity to expand the player base even further at the start.

Or to go even further, allow the subscriber to purchase subscription tokens at any time for gifting purposes. That will allow for those spontaneous purchases of tokens at two in the morning on a Saturday Night/Sunday morning for any particular player and it turns out that player happened to have mentioned right then and there to being in financial distress, resulting in his merry drunken teammates to spontaneously pitch in. ;)
Last edited by Banished Archangel on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:20 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Meridian » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:23 pm

The subscripton model is the best for development.
You have a fixed and predictable income that you can distribute as salary or profit.
This means you don't need to hire migrant coders, you can sustain permanent positions.

It also means that your developers can devote 100% of their time to developing the game. Once you start mixing in F2P freemium/premium crap you end up devoting a high X% of your resources to developing premium packs and perks.

That's a silly waste of development resources.

Also from a morale standpoint, game coding is hard work, where does the reward come from?
Do you want to spend 8+ hours a day making the game great or making the store great?

If you want to gain or maintain subscribers, the best way to do that is by making and maintaining a good game that's fun at all levels, with end-game not being the only game.

Subscription is also best for developing a strong sense of community and weeding out griefers/trolls.

As someone suggested above, if you want to have F2P then give them their own crappy server/instance/phase and make them sit in it and listen to the global spam and begging for gear.
If they're allowed past the paywall, make them seen but not heard.

Offer subscription tiers, with the minimum being $5 or $10/month or whatever your bottom line requires.
Higher tiers offer more perks or in-game currency or storage or whatever, but just make sure that the lowest tier is not frustrating at all.
This is so important. The low-tier players need to think "Man, that higher tier would be awesome" but they must never think "Man, this tier is awful, I hate this."

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby MrFreedom » Tue Feb 28, 2017 3:48 pm

Hate to say it, but F2P players are/can be very toxic, causing subscribers to become toxic to F2P players. Also causes micro-transactions to become the sole place to gain revenue. Which means - it will become pay to win. I'll never touch this game if it's purely F2P.

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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Parkhyeyeon » Tue Feb 28, 2017 6:03 pm

In a Q&A video, they said they'd be sub to play. That's best in my opinion, since everything can go into developing content and not cash shop items. The tiered subscription that was mentioned isn't a bad idea.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Jasix » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:13 am

Add my voice to the subscription model. I played CoH from the very beginning to the last second. While I enjoyed it the entire time...I did notice a lack of respect from the free players. I think if SoH wants to do something to give out free trials they should do like CoH did in the 14 day trial with chat restrictions etc.
Of course people say "Oh but my friend wants to try it out" etc.. Ok get on Skype with your friend and teach them the game. There has to be limitations to free accounts; especially when it comes to chat otherwise you will see (like we did in CoH) the gold farmers spamming over and over.

The thing I hated the most about the F2P version of CoH was their toxicity. They didn't care anything about the game because they had nothing invested in the game. And to the person who mentioned someone getting into an accident..losing their job etc etc... Yeah ok.. stuff like that CAN happen but it is not some common occurrence. I had a friend who lost his job that I played with for 5 years on CoH...and you know what we did... we bought him pre-paid Visa cards to help him continue to play and for things like food etc. You don't need to create some hyper free to play model because something devastating can happen to a player...that is what the community is for,,,to lend a hand to heroes who have fallen on hard times.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby JestersGhost » Wed Mar 01, 2017 6:15 am

"Everything is worth what its purchaser will pay for it." - Publilius Syrus

I like the idea of subscription tiers. Obviously a limited free tier makes sense to get people into the game, but not a major part of the game.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Eulb » Tue Mar 07, 2017 12:58 pm

Wow talk about pressure on the Dev's .... I'd personally pay for play, but not pay to win, ... F2P yes with limits and those subscribers token to give to F2P'ers really sounds neet
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Penniguin » Tue Mar 07, 2017 2:03 pm

My husband played CoH for years and was constantly nagging, I mean encouraging me to try it. I kept telling him no. I never had played any MMORPG and just knew I would not like it. One year he came home from Comicon with a free two week trial for me. I tried CoH, strictly for the intent of shutting him up. I was hooked and very freaked out the Saturday morning when I could not log on to MY game. I immediately got my credit card out and continued on my hero way. I tell this story to say free subscriptions are importing to give those of us who are not fully enlightened, a chance to come into the light.

With that being said, I think when people have skin (or money) in something, there is greater respect and pride in it. I know you will always find a bad apple or two in a bunch, but being investing in something, even if it is a game leads to a greater sense of community. As a late comer to CoH, I entered into an established community. It is often difficult to be the new comer and not know a dang thing about MMO's, but the CoH community and SG we were in was patient, helpful, encouraging and fun. I really miss that but have great anticipation for it with SoH. We have played other MMO, but have never found the environment like we had in Paragon City.

I hear what people are saying about falling on hard time and paying for subscriptions, but when times have been tough for my husband and I, it was not the cost of subscriptions that worried us. It was the cost of computer up grades to play the game that got us.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Galactus55 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:03 am

Build it and they will come.

Free trials are ok. Bottom line I agree P2P a monthly sub. cost is the way to go.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Flagwaver » Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:07 pm

I am fully willing to pay for a subscription in order to support the staff of Ship of Heroes. However, you can also include a F2P for some with a payment method to open in-game content similar to SWTOR. So, you have free-players, players who buy in-game content, and subscribers.
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Re: Pay to Play

Postby Solari » Mon Mar 27, 2017 5:41 pm

Subscription model is the only way to keep toxic people out and to build a player base resembling the tight-knit, invested community that CoH had, in my opinion.

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